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Course Application


Prof. Jonathan Hines


Professor Hines introduces the course
Since March 2014, the US, the EU and certain other countries have imposed a series of complex economic sanctions on Russian and other related individuals and legal entities.  These sanctions, which range from complete bans on doing business (blocking sanctions) to restrictions on financing specified entities or providing equipment and technology to sectors of the Russian economy (sectoral sanctions), have had a material impact on trade with and investment in Russia, and will continue to affect commercial relations well into the future.  Despite extensive articles and commentary on sanctions, many analysts/investors still do not understand how these unique sanctions actually work in practice, and companies remain uncertain as to how to deal with the sanctions regimes and how to mitigate against possible penalties or fines when conducting business.

This twelve hour, one credit course, held in six, two-hour sessions, covers the history and legislative basis for sanctions, the types of sanctions imposed, including import and export controls, blocking sanctions and sectoral sanctions, secondary sanctions under CAATSA, case studies of companies and individuals fined for sanctions violations, how companies can continue to do business in compliance with the sanctions, and how / when the sanctions may be lifted in the future.  We will look mainly at US economic sanctions, but will also cover EU economic sanctions and UN economic sanctions, and the measures companies should put in place to ensure they do not run afoul of sanctions.

Approximate Schedule of Topics:

Class 1
  • History, purpose and legal basis of international economic sanctions – an introduction
  • Brief overview of the legal bases of the UN, US and EU sanctions programs
  • Brief overview of the organizations that administer sanctions in the US, and the current sanctions regime against Russia
  • How the Russia sanctions regime differs from sanctions imposed by the US on Iran, Cuba, North Korea and other sanctioned countries
  • Brief intro to the EU (and now separate UK) Russia sanctions regimes
Class 2
  • Brief review / clarification on any questions from Class 1 or the readings
  • US blocking sanctions – the Russia SDN List and its application
  • The “50% rule”
  • US sectoral (SSI) sanctions and their application (oil & gas, finance, defense sectors)
  • US Crimea-specific sanctions (and practice, including trans-shipment cases)
Class 3
  • Are economic sanctions effective / sensible?
  • US secondary sanctions – CAATSA (theory / application)
  • Exports controls -- general
  • Export administration regulations and licensing
  • De minimis rules
Class 4
  • EU (and UK, other) sanctions regimes:  a closer look
  • US export controls related to Russia
  • Case study:  Asian drilling rig contracted for Russia
Class 5
  • US:  penalties / fines; factors considered by OFAC when imposing penalties
  • US / EU:  sanctions application and enforcement trends (with case studies)
  • The process for removing a party from a US sanctions list
Class 6
  • Sanctions compliance programs and best practices (including end-user certifications etc.)
  • Prospects for termination of sanctions (Jackson-Vanick precedent – case study)
  • Russian counter-sanctions measures (including re litigation / arbitration)
  • Wrap-up and predictions for the future.


The course will be mainly lecture and discussion. Students may expect some simple quizzes.  To the extent feasible we may bring in guest speakers to discuss specific issues.  Matching a guest speaker’s availability might mean slight changes in the order in which topics are introduced.

The materials will be provided electronically via Moodle. There is no book to be purchased, although some books and paid on-line materials may be recommended.

Attendance Policy:

This course is offered credit/no-credit only, in bimodal format (in person and synchronously online) to the extent that Covid and the school policies make it reasonable to meet in person. There is no exam, although there may be some pass/no pass quizzes in class to encourage you to do the readings and stimulate discussion. 90% attendance is required to get credit for the course. There are only 6 classes, so it's not outrageous to ask you to attend them all. This means that you have attend 11 out of the 12 hours. If you are regularly late for 15 minutes or a half hour, this could affect your eligibility to pass the class. Asynchronous participation does not generally count as class attendance.  If force majeure or employers cause you to miss more than 10% of the course, please talk to the professor immediately to see what can be done to make up the time.

Online Attendance Policy:

To be counted present for the course students should keep cameras turned on at all times with their faces clearly visible, although they should turn the camera off briefly if in motion.  Virtual backgrounds are allowed only if they do not contain motion and are not distracting for other students.  Please keep audio mooted unless you want to talk.  And please ensure that your screen name contains your first and last name.  If you want to speak or ask a question, please just speak up and do so.  You need not raise your hand on Zoom.

In-Person Covid-19 Attendance Policy:
In accordance with Pericles rules, to attend class in person, students must attest to being vaccinated within the past year, recovered from Covid (if applicable) within the past six months, tested with high antibodies within the past six months, or tested negative within the past week.  Students are to wear masks and sit at least 1 ½ meters apart from other students in class.  The professor might waive the mask policy if the classroom conditions seem appropriate.

Recording Policy:
This class applies Chatham House Rules: no private recordings are allowed, and remarks made by members of the class should not be attributed to the person making the remarks. The course will be officially recorded for members of the course only, to facilitate any difficulties in understanding for those attending online. My teaching assistant will control the recording and possibly turn it off at my instruction at some points during the class. All recordings will be deleted soon after the end of the course.

Admission to the Course:
This course is taught entirely in English. Admission to Pericles' LLM program, or an interview in English is required to enter the course. (Pericles cannot accept into this course anyone whose course is being paid by an individual or entity blocked by U.S. sanctions. Persons whose tuition is being paid by entities that are only on the sectoral sanctions list, however, can be admitted.)


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